Thursday, August 31, 2017

Four More Days In The Mission Office

Elder Hale's first time seeing the Chilean coast

This last week we brought an investigator to church named Efrain. Efrain is "más chileno que los porotos," or in other words he's a hard-core, Chilean cowboy.  He used to dance the Chilean National Dance, La Cueca, professionally.  He's got a baptismal date for the 26th of September. About six months ago I probably would have understood less than 30% of what this guy says because he has the strongest Chilean accent I've ever heard. Elder Romero has just as much of a clue about what he's saying as I do, so together we understand about 80% of what he says. 

This Tuesday I got to be a pentionist for a day. We delivered materials to the sectors in the countryside in Melipilla and Talagante. When I served in Calera de Tango we were out there all the time.  I also got to see the Chilean coast for the first time on my mission!  I've now officially seen all the zones in Santiago Oeste.

This change (a six-week block of time) the mission has been focusing on asking inspired questions and listening to investigators. The other day we passed by a member's home to use his bathroom and his wife came and chatted with us for a bit (which she has never done before, ever).  It was a lesson I will always remember.  I thought about what we taught, and in the end it was very little compared to the value of the time we spent listening and asking questions.

I attached a picture of my breakfast this morning - seasoned rice with black beans and a glass of water.  If I end up training a gringo next change he's going to think I'm a freak.

Delicious breakfast of seasoned rice, beans, and water.  Yum.

Love you guys,
Elder Hale

We had a fun activity with all the returned missionaries in our ward.
They all brought in pictures and mementos from their mission and displayed them on tables in the cultural hall.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Status Quo

Dear Family,

Things are as usual here. Elder Romero is trying to learn everything before I'm outta here (the office) in two weeks, so I can't do any office work... I'm a little bored. To make it even worse, there are two sick missionaries in the office right now that have to keep busy for a few weeks, so that leaves me with even fewer things to do. I'm a bit anxious to get to back to hitting the pavement.

Last week was Cesar's birthday! We passed by him and had a great time and I gave him my favorite tie as a gift. Cesar is going to get the Melchizedek Priesthood this September. We are super excited for him. I'm hoping he will get sealed in the temple while I'm still in the mission so I can go....

I've learned many valuable lessons these last few months. It seems like the more I progress in the gospel, the more I realize that I'm not really anything special. The reality is that we can do everything we can to bring about a good purpose, but without Jesus Christ and his gospel, there will be no fruit. The two go hand and hand - personal effort and reliance on the Savior and his teachings.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Less Than Five Months To Go...

No photos (AGAIN) from Elder Hale, so here is one from last week of Jonny at Lake Powell

Dear Family,

I totally have a million photos to send but I left my camera at home.

We have been having a lot of fun in the sector and in the office. Also I realized the other day that I have less than five months left in the mission. THAT WAS TRUNKY.

I got to be a secretary pentionist for a day while Elder Romero tried to take care of everything on his own.  It was sick.  We went to a zone in the mission that a bit more humble, Ochagavia.  I'd never been there, but it felt like I was in Haiti because we saw more Haitians than Chileans there. 

Anyways, I'm running out of time to write because I had to do some office stuff while I was writing. But next week I promise there will be more content.

Elder Hale

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Disappointment and Hope

View of the mountains

Dear Family,

Normally I don't like to tell my sad stories on the emails.

Nicol, our super awesome investigator that we found last week got another job.  Not only does she work every day, she works a night shift now, too. When we taught her she was certain that now was the time for her to receive the missionaries, but she has changed her priorities. She promised that later on she would receive the missionaries.

This one is crazy. Eimer, our Colombian friend, moved. Luis, his friend, was letting him live in the house with him. Luis had been recovering from an addiction to alcohol, and hadn't had a drink in weeks.  He slipped up a few days ago and his wife Elizabeth decided she couldn't take it anymore and left him. Eimer had to leave because Luis was a wreck and throwing stuff around the house.

Sometimes people make bad choices and there is nothing we can do to stop them.  But if we trust in the promise of the Atonement of Christ, we believe that anyone can be forgiven.

We will continue working hard here in Esquina Blanca, knowing that the Lord will bless us as we show faith in him and his atonement.

Love and miss you,
Elder Hale
This photo came up as a Facebook memory from three years ago.
What a wonderful day and an amazing trip!
FYI, Jonathan is now taller than everyone in this photo.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Miracles And A Water Witch

July Zone Conference

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was good.  We found lots of new people to teach.

We got a reference from the system of a lady named Nicol.  Nicol's dad lives in another ward in the mission and is listening to the missionaries. Nicol had listened a few times at his house and really liked it so she had the missionaries there send us her address. She is very receptive and feels that now is the time for her to get closer to God.

Last Saturday, a man from Colombia named Luis contacted us in the street to ask us where the church was. He's a member, but he hasn't been to church in a long time. He has a crazy story.  His kids got involved in drugs and alcohol, and one day, two of them were assassinated in a park by a gang. His whole family basically split up immediately. He sent his wife and two kids on an airplane to Chile and then hitchhiked all the way from Colombia to Chile. We were able to help him meet the bishop and the bishop is helping him to find employment. His wife came to church last week and loved it.

We taught his friend, Eimer, who is also from Colombia. He has a sickness in his leg that makes it difficult to walk and doesn't have money to buy all the medication he needs. We said a prayer together for him and when we came by two days later he stood up and shook our hands. He said the day after we left he felt strength in his leg and he walked with Luis and their dog, Princesa, all over Maipú.

Love and miss you all,
Elder Hale
Misión Chile Santiago Oeste

From Elder Hale's email to Kyra:
I met a guy the other day that believed in something weird. He thinks that everything is alive and that, for example, if you pray for a thing, it will do whatever it does better.  Then he gave us a glass of water from the tap and had us drink it and then gave us another glass of water from the tap and did a weird prayer thing on the water and we drank it and it tasted a little better, I think. Pretty sure he was a witch. Don't try this.